Focusing on your gut health is something that can help you maintain your health beyond helping you go to the bathroom a little more regularly. From supporting your immune health to possibly supporting your mental health, your gut health can have a profound impact on your overall well-being. Sure, it might come as a surprise that the state of your gut can affect so many aspects of your health, but prioritizing your gut health can really impact so many facets of how you feel.
In fact, recent studies have suggested that the gut microbiome plays an important role in reducing the risk of several chronic diseases, including inflammatory bowel disease, obesity, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and heart disease. cancer. At the same time, it is now understood that diet plays a major role in our gut health, particularly through the health of our gut microbiome. There is some data showing that dietary changes can impact the gut microbiome in as little as 24 hours.
So what is a gut-healthy diet? Generally speaking, a diet high in plant-based foods that are high in fiber and foods that contain live probiotics will make up the bulk of your food choices. Low-fiber and refined carbs, concentrated candies and sugary drinks will be consumed less frequently (but not ever, we’ll never tell you to skip a slice of cake on your birthday!).
Supporting your gut health doesn’t mean having to rely on trendy wellness shots, supplements or powders that claim to keep your gut wellbeing in check. Relying on easy-to-prepare and totally delicious recipes that contain certain ingredients rich in fiber, probiotics and other important factors can help you support your gut health in a very accessible and satisfying way.
If you’re looking to try your hand at whipping up gut-friendly recipes in your own kitchen, here are six delicious recipes to try.
This grilled chicken and avocado salad is packed with gut-healthy ingredients like veggies and avocado. But the shining star of this gut-friendly salad is the addition of nuts.
Nuts are not only a nutritional powerhouse that has a good balance of healthy fats, plant-based proteins, and fiber to help give this salad some staying power, but these nuts also play a role in the gut microbiome.
A study published in Nutrients found that consuming a nut-enriched diet positively impacted the gut microbiome by enhancing “good” probiotic and butyric acid-producing bacteria. Butyric acid is thought to be helpful for digestive health by helping to maintain colon health. Additionally, a USDA and University of Illinois study, published in The Nutrition Diary, found that nut consumption was associated with positive changes in the gut microbiome. Adults who ate 42 grams (about 1.5 ounces) of walnuts every day for three weeks experienced an increase in beneficial gut bacteria and a decrease in secondary bile acids, which may play a role in colon cancer, inflammation and gastrointestinal diseases.
This salad can be an easy recipe to use on busy days when you want to eat nourishing foods and keep your gut health in check at the same time.
Get our recipe for Grilled Chicken and Avocado Salad.
When people think of gut health, they don’t always think of dessert choices. But this sorbet is totally gut-friendly, thanks to the inclusion of whole kiwis (including the skin!), which gives this treat a healthy dose of fiber. By combining nutritious ingredients like kiwi and fresh orange juice and relying on a Ninja™ CREAMi® machine to create a simple sorbet, eating to support gut health is totally delicious and simple to make.
Get the recipe from Nutrition Now Counseling.
Beans in general are the ultimate gut health food. The dietary fiber present in beans, called resistant starch, is not broken down in the small intestine and eventually enters the colon in its whole form. This starch will be fermented and produce certain fatty acids as a byproduct, causing a lower pH environment where potentially harmful bacteria (like e.coli) cannot thrive. This Slow Cooker Bean Soup is filling, nutrient-dense, and incredibly easy to make.
Get our slow cooker Cuban tomato and black bean soup recipe.
Coleslaw usually drowns out heavier additions like mayonnaise. But this coleslaw recipe makes the gut-healthy veggies shine. Loaded with a variety of cabbage for fiber, Greek yogurt for gut-healthy live cultures, and carrots for a natural crunch, this coleslaw is a versatile side dish that can be enjoyed several times a week.
Get our easy and healthy coleslaw recipe.
The combination of beans and vegetables gives this dish a healthy dose of a variety of gut-healthy fibers, as well as important vitamins and minerals. Make a big batch of this salad and store leftovers in the fridge to enjoy all week.
Get the recipe for The View from Great Island.
Sauerkraut is one of the best foods for gut health thanks to fiber and beneficial bacteria, called probiotics. Like all fermented foods, eating sauerkraut helps colonize the gut with the “good” bacteria to help you maintain good gut health. Add this sauerkraut to sandwiches or include it on your vegetarian dog for a probiotic boost.
Get the recipe from Minimalist Baker.
Lauren Manaker MS, RDN, LD, CLEC
Lauren Manaker is an award-winning dietitian, book author and recipe creator who has been practicing for nearly 20 years. Read more